Louise-Catherine Breslau - Young girl reading by a window (1912)
A Girl with Flowers - Luis Graner y Arrufi
I have always wondered about this marker, it is at the bottom of the bell tower in the Florence National Cemetery in Florence, South Carolina, I have never heard any stories or information on it or the Brawler family, it seems crazy and incredible for a man and 22 (twenty freaking two!) of his sons to fight together in the American Revolutionary War, I found an article that has explained a lot about this little, forgotten about stone, it was written by a great man who just recently was tragically taken from us, Mr Dwight Dana, for the Morning News for July 4, 2002
MARION—Although Jacob Brawler and his 22 sons made the supreme sacrifice during the Revolutionary War, history has given scant attention to the Brawlers’ bravery.
And it was more than two centuries before the family’s valor was memorialized with a marker at Florence’s National Cemetery. The small marker reads, “In memory of Jacob Brawler and his 22 sons who lost their lives serving in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.”
Brawler, a second wife and his manifold offspring lived near Catfish Creek, a nascent community near present-day Latta. He had 13 children by his first wife, and 11 the second time around in South Carolina. Amidst the bounteous brood was but one girl.
In the spring of 1780 Charleston fell to the British, raising the dander of, among others, General Francis Marion. The wily Swamp Fox went out looking for “a few good men” centuries before the phraseology became a
Marines’ catch phrase.
Some of the Brawlers were drafted, prompting Jacob to declare that if one went, all should go. And, to make his point more poignant, he said he would take up arms and go with his 23 sons.
In a 1905 address entitled “Marion County in the Revolution,” the Rev. R. E. Stackhouse said, “Twenty-three sons and the father, 24 in all, embarked in the strife. And, almost incredible to relate, but one of the sons returned to tell the story of the slaughter.
"The one surviving son, weak in both mind and body, died in a few years, and the name became extinct in Marion County. But no name deserves a higher place in the annals of the Pee Dee, if in the story of the Revolution throughout the 13 colonies.”
Stackhouse credited Alexander Gregg, author of the History of the Old Cheraws,” as the source of his information. Gregg, an Episcopal bishop with a sterling reputation for accuracy, wrote the detailed history in 1867.
Brawler was poor but ingenious. He adopted the following method of catching bears: Driving sharp nails, pointing downward, in a bee-gum, he baited it at the bottom, having secured it well. The bear, putting his head down, would be caught beyond possibility of extraction.
The memorial to the Brawlers was spearheaded by a history-loving couple, Earl and Louise Tyndal of Lancaster. Both were in their 80s at the time and Louise Tyndal discovered the Brawlers’ story while researching the history of both her and her husband’s families.
"Even though Jacob Brawler was no kin to us, it just immediately touched me,” Louise Tyndal said in a Morning News interview in the 1990s. “The story was so tragic, especially that there was nothing done to remember this man’s huge sacrifice.”
The Tyndals had hoped to place the marker at the Marion County Courthouse, but the Veterans Administration informed them an official memorial must be located at a cemetery.
The Tyndals, with the help of Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., got approval to place the marker at Florence National Cemetery.
"Someone who gave what this man gave should really be given a place in history,” Mrs. Tyndal said. “We are just so happy we could do this for Mr. Brawler and his family.”
Military records on the Brawlers are apparently nil for a number of reasons, one of the most obvious being Francis Marion didn’t keep rolls or records of his men.
And if Jacob Brawler’s widow didn’t apply for a pension, there would be no records in military archives.
Additionally, if there were any records of the wife, son or daughter becoming wards of the local parish, those would have probably been taken care of when General William T. Sherman made his infamous torch march through the South.
How awesome is this?? Talk about a bad ass and sons of a bad ass!! My families lived in the Latta area at the same time the Brawler family did, I can only imagine what a loss it had to be to the community as well, but holy hell, why has this amazing story been forgotten?? Get your shit together people!!
Julius LeBlanc Stewart in his studio, circa 1885 - 1890
René Schützenberger - Reader at the Window (1890)